Monday, September 07, 2009

Album: Junius - The Martyrdom Of A Catastrophist

Band: Junius
Album: The Martyrdom Of A Catastrophist
Label: Make My Day Records/The Mylene Sheath
Year: 2009

01. Birth Rites By Torchlight
02. The Antediluvian Fire
03. (turning to the spirits of the hours...)
04. The Dramatist Plays Catastrophist
05. Ten Year Librarian
06. Stargazers And Gravediggers
07. (...he fell before her)
08. Elishiva, I Love You
09. Letters From Saint Angelica
10. The Mourning Eulogy

The tireless and ever-touring bearded men of Junius are releasing their new record, The Martyrdom of a Catastrophist, on The Mylene Sheath (North America / UK) and Make My Day Records (Europe). Preparation for the long-awaited album began in 2006, with month-long writing/recording sessions in such unconventional locales as a bank vault in California, a warehouse in Texas, a farmhouse in Vermont, and a shack in the swamps of Louisiana. The result is a full-fledged concept album, inspired by the life and theories of controversial scholar Immanuel Velikovsky.

From birth to death, The Martyrdom of A Catastrophist chronicles a man whose progressive theories on ancient history and the cosmos were widely challenged by mainstream academia during his lifetime. The album's ten songs are both cinematic and accessible, building to crescendos which echo some of Post Rock's most epic moments, but with vocals, hooks, and lyrics creating focus throughout. Actual quotes from Velikovsky's interviews and lectures are interspersed between songs, providing a sense of narrative to the proceedings.

Junius produced The Martyrdom at the legendary A&M Records studios in Hollywood (now known as Henson Recording) over the course of a year, somewhat guerilla-style, during off-hours when the studio wasn't booked (the band has joked that they were bumped out by everyone from Akon to Bruce Springsteen—literally). The album was recorded by Kevin Mills and Tom Syrowski (Weezer, AFI) and mastered by Dave Collins (Danny Elfman, Black Sabbath). It also includes a 24-page book featuring art by Drew Speziale (Circle Takes The Square) and illustrator Matt Gauck.

While Junius' sound is sometimes tough to categorize, they have cited such artists as Bedhead (Junius singer/guitarist Joseph E. Martinez's uncle Trini was their drummer), Philip Glass, Hum, and M83 among a long list of inspirations. The band has been electrifying rapt audiences with their spellbinding walls of reverb-drenched guitars, haunting vocals and self-made lights since 2004.

Shortly after releasing their first EP, Forcing Out The Silence, Junius began a tireless touring regimen to fan the flames of an already blazing press. Among its accolades, Disclosure Magazine declared the debut "one of the most engaging Dark Rock albums to come out since Joy Division last graced a stage." Junius toured for over 9 months and played over 200 shows in their first year alone, embracing a DIY ethic which remains at the core of the band's ideology.

Both the debut EP and its 2006 follow-up, Blood Is Bright (later released as a self-titled full-length), were recorded by Will Benoit (of Constants), and mastered by Nick Zampiello (Isis, Converge, Torche). Hailed as a “darkly lush epic” by Alternative Press and “genius” by The Big Takeover, Junius’ work is borne of experiments in isolation and asceticism. It’s this austere approach from one of America's hardest working bands that adds a weighty sense of purpose and intrigue to their output.

Buy from The Mylene Sheath or Make My Day Records

*Junius' previous albums here

2 Engineers:

bk said...

awesome, thank you for posting this.

Anonymous said...

This was one of the best things I heard this year. They made such a huge progression as a band.

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